Although until recently I was often actively drawn into discussions about meta stuff, it seems as if that’s no longer the case, and I find myself wondering why. Context in this situation is the new piece by Clay Shirky that seems to have people a-buzz, and around which a sometimes heated conversation is now springing. The aether is a-buzz with talk, but I don’t seem to be invited, which is unusual, and which I can’t quite figure out. No one’s invited me to the prom, mom! I know it’s unspeakably lame to whine about stuff like this, and I don’t mean to, but it’s worrisome, kind of, and on my mind, and has context given the topic of discussion, I think.
I wonder if that f–king Bloggie shortlisting is to blame, actually, and has fostered some sort of ‘well, f–k him, he’s going in some weird famehog direction’ feeling, which is most assuredly not the case. That surprised me as much as it did anyone. I don’t think I’ve gotten any more profane and offensive, lately, that I can see, and I tend to talk in much the same way as I always have, about much the same sort of things. If anything, I get more visitors on a daily basis than I ever have before. But the (smart, good) folks with whom I have felt a sense of neighbourhood in the past seem to have withdrawn. Perhaps I’m just talking more crap than usual, I dunno.
That’s life, I guess. But it leaves me befuddled, a little, and wondering if it really is the case, and if so, why it happened.
Anyway, I posted a few further thoughts over at Jonathon Delacour’s in light of what I’ve been reading about the Shirky piece this morning, which I reproduce here because I’m lazy, even if no one is interested (whine, sniff, pout).

Clay mentions LiveJournal, and I really see no one paying much attention to that particular phenomenon around the traps today. Last I heard, there were more people writing ‘blogs’ with LiveJournal than with any other tool, and last I noticed, the overwhelming majority of those were of the “publishing an account of your Saturday night and having your 3 closest friends read it” variety.
Ignore them (or to use more emotionally charged language, ghettoize them) and you get an incomplete picture of the whole.
It amuses me, and is predictable, that people would respond with ‘Who cares?’ Obviously, we do, or we wouldn’t spend so damn much time talking about it!
If I have a problem with what Clay was saying (well, I have a few, but) it would be his attachment, by implication or explicitly, of qualitative criteria to what he’s describing, and thus create a hierarchy, where none exists in reality. That, I’m guessing, is in part why some people seem to have their backs up over this.

Join the conversation! 13 Comments

  1. So one has to ask when was the last time you said hi, how are you, sent an email just to check in, asked how your friends were feeling?
    Asked how life was treating them?

  2. OK, OK, point taken. Not *that* long ago, surely!

  3. Lets see. Last time you sent me an email it was to ask if the mockingbird post was directed at you because of the the shortlist. Not hi, how are you, but…
    But then, it’s not that important. Not really

  4. Thus my paranoia, as I was already feeling kinda cut from the herd at that point… But maybe we can talk it over offline, and actually use the email, if it’s not too late?

  5. This strikes me as an effect of web-time. In real life you would hardly feel out of the loop if people don’t talk about you every single day.
    So what about those of us who feel we’re still somewhat in the loop because we read the Bottle? Does this mean we’re in the outer reaches of the loop? The western spiral arm of the loop?
    (And Shelley, Stav was singing your praises just the other day at Blogroots, honest…)

  6. No, Rory, I have a great and abiding love for each and every member of my extended blog tribe of tribes. It’s just that the oldest friends always worry you the most sometimes, I guess…

  7. Following up on Rory’s point, I’m trying to conjure up how humans would check their hypothetically natural referral logs. Would slender bookmarks be placed in people’s mouths in the middle of their conversations? Would they track their silly mutterings with tape recorders and video cameras? And, most importantly, would they bitch relentlessly about how the most popular kid on the block wasn’t regularly calling their names? Having a referral log in the real world seems akin to McCarthy’s list of Communists or Ashcroft’s proposed DNA database of suspected terrorists. (Suspsected references?)
    Couldn’t give a damn about the loop, really, as high quality as many of the folks here at EB are. It amazes me that people get worked up over this thing, particularly when no one will know or care who the hell Jason Kottke is in 20 years. (Do they honestly care about Jennicam anymore? ‘Nough said.)

  8. Chris, if I ever stop loving you, I promise, I’ll email immediately.

  9. The heartbreaking thing about publishing a novel (from what I’ve seen of other people’s heartbreaks, over and over) is how quickly everyone stops talking about you compared to how long it took you to finish the novel. So things could be worse!

  10. Who the hell is Jason Kottke?
    No, seriously, who the hell is he anyway and why do I see his name pop up everywhere? I guess I am so far out of the loop that I have missed something vital to the whole puzzle.

  11. *points, giggles*
    dg doesn’t know kot-tke!
    dg doesn’t know kot-tke!

    If you were to stop loving me, Bb, I should have known, knowing you, that it’d happen with a bang, not a whimper!

  12. *Sheesh* Enough with the public displays of affection. Get a room already.

  13. But then our secret plan to do a Kottke-Megnut kind of blogromance thing and become the King and Queen of the All-New A-List would be thwarted!

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